By Tiffany Williams
Ponoka golfer Ryan Moore shot a triumphant score of 66 with nine birdies to defeat the field of 105 golfers in the McLennan Ross Sun event. The tournament was held at the Ponoka Community Golf Course on July 21 as part of the Sun Junior tour.
For any golfer shooting nine birdies is quite the feat and Moore took it in stride to help he him prepare for other tournaments. Moore’s 66 was his lowest score by four shots and was glad to win the tournament at his home course in Ponoka.
“It felt really good. It made me more confident knowing that I could go out and play a round like that,” said Moore.
After his big win he is set to play in Canmore, Stugeon Valley, Innisfail and the tournament final at Wolf Creek on Aug. 25.
Playing on his home course was a bit of a challenge but the extra work has paid off for Moore.
“I knew I had to shoot well and it was an advantage because I have played this course so much,” said Moore. “It’s really nice that the members are recognizing the win as well they are all coming up to me congratulating me.”
Club professional Rob MacPherson says that it was one of the biggest junior tournaments they host all year and it went great. He thinks that expectations are always high for local golfers to win on their own course and it is one of the hardest things to do as you feel more pressure playing at home.
“Moore is a great kid and I have known him for years, he is very calm and focused which you have to be when you are playing that well, you can’t be thinking ahead or about score and try and stay in the moment. He probably knew he was doing well but didn’t really know how well until he was done. Nine birdies in one round is phenomenal, that is what the very best players in the world would record on 18 holes when they are playing their best.
At the start of the round Moore thought he would play well and got off to a good start, which helped him build some confidence. His only blemish of the day was a double-bogey on hole 17. He was -6 going into the hole and he had a good tee shot but pulled it and landed in the bunker but he was able to recover to save double-bogey.
“I was still four under and I knew I had a good shot to win. I had to hit fairways and greens. Luckily it worked out and I finished with two more birdies,” said Moore.
The 17 year-old grew up in Ponoka and recently graduated from Ponoka Composite High School and is planning on attending Grant MacEwan in the fall to study golf course management. He has been a member at the Ponoka Community Golf Course for seven years and tries to play four to five rounds of golf per week. He started working at the local golf course six years ago, he worked three years as a cart boy and for the last three years he has worked in the pro shop.
He has been playing on the Sun Junior Tour for four years and likes playing because of the high level of competition and meeting new people. This year he has competed in four different tour events including the Ponoka tournament. He finished fourth at Olds, fifth at Drayton Valley and sixth at Lacombe.
With the win in Ponoka he accomplished his first goal of the season and his lifetime golfing goal is to sink a hole in one.
“It feels good and now my goal is to win the tour championship,” said Moore.
As he prepares for the finals it is on another course that he knows well.
“I’m confidant because I have played there a lot and I need to stick to my game,” said Moore. “I need to keep it in the fairways and read the greens.”
His home club will also be supporting him as he aims for the 18th green at Wolf Creek.
“Moore has worked very hard on his game and I would not be surprised to see more great performances out of him this year,” said MacPherson. “All the members of the club will be pulling for him the rest of the season and at the tour championship.”
To follow Moore’s journey to the finals visit www.thesunjuniortour.com